John “Jay Bird” Alexander Wilkie II, 64, passed away peacefully January 17, 2021, under the care of Sanford Fargo Hospice. Jay was born February 28, 1956 at Swedish Hospital, Minneapolis, MN to John and Maureen Wilkie. Due to COVID19 a service will be held at a later date.
Jay grew up in Carman, Manitoba and loved working with his grandfather on the family farm who instilled in him love of animals and hard work. After moving to Fargo in 1973 his first jobs were at the West Fargo and Baker MN stockyards. He took up the construction trades at age 20, and over time became accomplished at roofing, carpet laying, tile work, drywall taping and finishing. This allowed him to travel extensively, heading for a new destination just because he wanted to go there. Many of those years he travelled with his constant companion “Blue Boy” and close friends. He would take the lead in a new town to find work with his tools of trade, a payphone and the yellow pages; within hours have work secured for himself and his colleagues. He was great with people. Unfortunately, in 1996, he was thrown from a truck resulting in a debilitating spinal injury. Consequently, the accident led to several additional medical issues but he never gave up. A year ago, his life turned again when he was diagnosed with cancer. His close friends learned what it meant to be a strong, kind and humble human being and that anybody can overcome enormous obstacles and change their life. Although he gave it his best, he could not defeat cancer. Jay loved music and spending time with old friends, “the boys”, nature, watching the races, sports, or just hanging out.
Remaining here to take comfort in the memory of his kind heart and share with each other the loss of this fine man are his father John Wilkie and wife Becky, San Diego, CA; two nieces Stephanie Tegtmeier and Lacy Jerstad, Fargo, ND; sisters Michelle May, Richardson, Texas, and Kristin Fisher, Scotsville, Kentucky; and many, many relatives and friends throughout Canada and America.
Preceding him in death and now welcoming him with open arms are his grandparents, mother Maureen Wilkie, brother Tom Reid Wilkie, and sister Anna Kristen Wilkie.
A special thank you to all at the Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center and Sanford Hospital Hospice staff for their compassionate care.
Jay will be interred in Carman, Manitoba, according to his wishes. Home.
Later, Jay Bird.